Here is a link to the full report and here is a section from it:
The commission leadership struggle is a microcosm of the battle between the coal interests and mining-state governments worried about the employment impacts in their regions, versus the environmentalists who are calling for immediate shutdowns of coal power plants with a total capacity of at least seven gigawatts by 2020, or the equivalent of one-third of Germany’s total lignite capacity. As it is, due to the lack of progress in reducing its carbon emissions, Germany will miss its 2020 target by a wide margin. Defenders of coal have estimated that exit of all lignite production will require over €6 billion ($7 billion) in compensation payments and can only happen “in the long run.”
At the present time, Germany has only about 30,000 coal workers, a fraction of the number employed in the nation’s wind industry. However, these coal workers are concentrated in three German states, making the transition away from coal that much more difficult.
Another issue bedeviling Europe and its carbon emissions goal is the revelation that there was no improvement in average carbon dioxide emissions among new cars sold in 2017. Data from the European Environmental Agency (EEA) showed that after years of steady declines, new passenger cars registered in 2017, on average, emitted 0.4 grams of CO2 per kilometer more than in 2016, rising to 118.5 g CO2/km. Since monitoring began in 2010, emissions have decreased by 22 g CO2/km driven. This figure highlights the challenge the European auto industry faces in reaching the EU’s target for carbon emissions of 95 g CO2/km in 2021, a 20% reduction from 2017 levels.
There is no argument that the goal of reducing carbon emissions is a laudable one. However, shuttering the nuclear industry in Germany, which has neither a history of seismic or tsunami activity, is another example of how blind adherence to ideals rather than reality on the ground results in less than optimal outcomes. This is another symptom of the wider problem inside the EU where observance of ideals is prioritized over the needs of the population.Back to top